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Water Safety Education

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Protect Yourself and Your Family From Flash Floods

Posted: April 21, 2016


Have you seen the recent news about flooding? Did you know that Flooding is the most common type of natural disaster worldwide, and FLASH FLOODING is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the US? Approximately 200 people a year in the US are surprised by, and killed by flash floods.

Weather-Related Fatalities
• All Causes: 274
• Flood/Flash Flood: 203
• Tornado: 39
• Lightning: 12
• Winter Storm: 8
• Extreme Heat: 6
• Severe Thunderstorm/Wind: 6

Guess which state leads the nation with flash floods? You guessed it...Texas! Texas is consistently the state with the most flood/flash flood deaths in the past 36 years. So do what you can to protect yourself and your family from Flash Floods.

Prepare in Advance
• Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a battery-operated radio, and a flashlight.
• Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911.
• Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know and teach safe routes from your home that are on higher ground.
• Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
• Have a plan to protect your pets.

During A Flood
• If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
• During evacuation do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.      
• If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof.
• Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information. You will receive the weather updates and emergency instructions.
• Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
• If you've come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.

Turn Around, Don't Drown! ®
Driving in floods is the most dangerous place to be, as over 50% of flood-related drownings are vehicle-related. Do NOT drive into flooded roadways.

          Flood/Flash Flood Fatalities
• Total: 203
• Vehicles: 136
• Permanent Homes: 30
• Walk/Play Near Flood: 24
• Mobile Homes: 8
• Outside: 5

• It only takes 2 feet of water to sweep your vehicle away.
• If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car immediately and move to higher ground.
• Do not leave the car and enter moving water unless the car is sinking too deep in the water.

Escaping a Sinking Car
• Forget using your cell phone to call for help. If your car is sinking, you don't have time to wait for help.
• The first step is to undo all seat-belts. This often gets forgotten in the panic. Unbuckle the children, starting with the oldest first (who can then help with other seatbelts). Do this first and do it quickly.
• Open a window. You can open the windows electronically for at least the first 3 minutes of submersion. If the electronics fail, break the side or rear window, never the front windshield. The weight of the engine sinks the front windshield lower in the water and it's harder to break.
• After that, get children out of the car as fast as possible, starting with the oldest. (who can then help the others).
• When all the children are out of the sinking car, the adult should get out.
• Seek medical attention as soon as possible. The adrenaline in the bloodstream after the escape may make you and your family unable to detect any injuries sustained during the emergency. Hail passing motorists who can call for help on their cell phones and provide you a ride to the nearest hospital if necessary.

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